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UNICEF supports Oyo in improving access to medical oxygen

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has pledged to support the Oyo State government in managing the availability of medical oxygen in the state.

UNICEF Country Health Specialist Dr Khalilu Muhammad speaking at Oyo State Stakeholder Engagement Meeting on Oxygen Safety in State of Oyo, said efforts were underway at the national level to develop a medical oxygen system for the country.

According to him, COVID-19 and the challenges that come with it have further exposed the need for medical oxygen.

He said: “To do this we need the right kind of human resources, training and also equipment to be able to diagnose and deliver medical oxygen at the right level, and this equipment needs to be maintained to ensure its sustainability. .

“There are nationally developed policies and roadmaps to ensure the safety of medical oxygen in Nigeria. Roadmaps and policies have not been lowered to the state level for a number of reasons, including insufficient resources.

“COVID-19 has given us the push to further ensure that there is increased momentum to make sure we meet this goal.

“So UNICEF, because of our passion for ensuring that women and children receive the best health services available, will continue to partner with stakeholders to ensure our children survive and thrive.

“We focused on Kano and Oyo states due to limited resources and the willingness of these state governments to support the government to domesticate national policies and start implementing them. “

In addition, Dr Ijeoma Agbor, UNICEF health specialist, Akure field office, said oxygen can make a big difference between life and death in a number of medical conditions and that the policy framework is the first step in ensuring equitable access for all Nigerians.

She said that to improve the clinical use of oxygen, training of healthcare workers on the use and maintenance of oxygen equipment is very important and that institutions and other professional organizations should be encouraged to include oxygen therapy workshops in their continuing professional development.

She said that UNICEF at the national level will continue to advocate for better access to medical oxygen for all in collaboration with other partners and using existing platforms.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown many shortcomings in our healthcare system and that it lacked the capacity to handle cases of COVID-19 and other cases requiring medical oxygen.

“If Oyo State embraces this strategy, it will provide them with a roadmap to improve oxygen, both in terms of oxygen use and management of the oxygen delivery system,” he said. said Agbor.

In his remarks, the executive secretary of the Oyo State Primary Health Care Board, Dr Muideen Olatunji, said the state would operate the system.

“We need to strengthen our staff, because we need to know how to handle oxygen so that it does not become a problem when administering it.

“We cannot overemphasize the importance of oxygen in our health system, and we are looking for a way to strengthen it from primary health care level to secondary and tertiary institutions,” he said.

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